Minneapolis-St. Paul Feature

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Where Should I Focus My Energy?

If you're here for 1 day: Even with a brief visit, you can still fall in love with the Twin Cities by focusing on downtown Minneapolis. Check out the Walker Art Center and adjacent sculpture garden, then shop and dine your way down Nicollet Mall. See a show at the acclaimed Guthrie Theater or in the Hennepin Avenue Theatre District.

If you're here for 2 days: Spend a day exploring Lake Calhoun and Uptown. They're within walking distance of each other, and Uptown's funky-fun restaurants and shops are nicely contrasted with Lake Calhoun's serenity.

If you're here for 3 days: Head to the Mall of America for all the shopping and eating you could want under one roof.

If you're here for 4 days: Add St. Paul to the itinerary. You'll have the best experiences in its neighborhoods. Tour the historic homes on Summit Avenue and explore the urban shopping and eating on Grand Avenue (between Dale Street and Lexington Avenue). Nearby Cathedral Hill on Selby Avenue is anchored by the Cathedral of St. Paul and offers stellar neighborhood dining and shopping options.

If you're here for 5 days: Check out another museum or two: Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Science Museum of Minnesota, Minnesota Children's Museum(651/225-6000 www.mcm.org), Minnesota History Center, or the Weisman Art Museum. Learn some history at Historic Fort Snelling(612/726-1171 www.mnhs.org) or take a fun St. Paul Gangster Tour (651/292-1220).

If you're here for 6 days: For some outdoor enjoyment, add Como Park Zoo and Conservatory or Minnehaha Park to your itinerary.

If you're here for 7 days or more: Head out to under-the-radar neighborhoods Northeast Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota's Dinkytown for unique shops and restaurants. Wander over to "the U's" gorgeous campus and Stadium Village area to get your "Ski-U-Mah" on. Stop at the Frank Gehry-designed Weisman Art Museum while you're there.

Claim to Fame

Local celebrities include Garrison Keillor of Prairie Home Companion fame; Prince, who got his start at First Avenue in downtown Minneapolis; Charles Schulz, creator of the Peanuts cartoon strip; and even Bob Dylan, who technically hails from Hibbing, Minnesota. The opening credits of the 1970s sitcom The Mary Tyler Moore Show features Mary tossing her hat on Nicollet Mall, a pedestrian-only thoroughfare in downtown Minneapolis. A statue commemorating this event sits right outside Macy's.

Sports teams are also a sense of pride for the Twin Cities. Although the Minnesota Twins baseball team last won a World Series in 1991, fans still hold the Twins in high esteem and couldn't be more proud of today's team. St. Paul was recently christened Hockeytown USA in 2007 by Sports Illustrated for its devotion to the Minnesota Wild hockey team. With Wisconsin nearby, the rivalry between Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers fans is legendary, even penetrating outside of football circles.

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